Farmlift introduced as a ‘multi-tool’ for firefighters

  • Machine tests successfully completed
  • Farmlift 742 adopted by the fire department
  • Wide range of civil protection applications and uses

After about 12 months of practical testing, the district fire association of Düren, Germany, has now introduced a Farmlift 742 to support its emergency services. The Case IH Farmlift has arrived at the central fire station of the district of Düren. From there, it will be used by the 15 municipal fire departments and over 2,500 firefighters as a special vehicle on their 4,000-plus firefighting operations every year.

“We bought a telehandler for two key reasons; the first is that the fire department has to deal with more and more logistics operations these days, and the second is that we were looking for a flexible, fast solution to recover damaged electric vehicles in the event of an emergency – sometimes in a designated extinguishing container,” explains Karlheinz Eismar, Düren District Fire Chief.

“We had no previous experience with a telehandler, so we set about creating a requirements brief and trialled a number of possible applications as part of a practical test,” Eismar continues.

They soon discovered that the range of applications is more diverse than they initially expected. Eismar explains that one of the main uses is the various logistics operations which are becoming increasingly common for fire departments, and he gives these examples: “In recent months, we have had to set up vaccination centres and transport materials for relief supplies.

“Increasingly, however, the Farmlift is also being used as a manoeuvrable clearing and recovery machine, during or after firefighting operations – for example, disassembling still burning bale stacks or uncovering glow nests to extinguish.”

During the region’s flood disaster in the summer of 2021, the Farmlift was used to transport sandbags and BigBags to quickly construct makeshift dams. “Its off-road capability and all-wheel steering were clear advantages here.”

“We do have a flat-bed for transport, but the Farmlift goes straight to where we need it. For this purpose, it was equipped with its own siren, radio, and all-round blue lights. It also has brackets to carry breathing apparatus. This provides improved protection for the driver against dangerous smoke inhalation in the cab during firefighting operations,” says Eismar.

The Düren fire department’s Farmlift has a load capacity of 4.2 tonnes and a lifting height of 7 metres. It is equipped with a joystick with proportional control and an easy-to-use reversible lever.  It has 4WD, front wheel drive and crab steering. It also has an intelligent tilt protection system that keeps the implement parallel to the ground. The LED light package provides all-around lighting during use.

As the Farmlift is operated by various emergency services, the intuitive operation via joystick and excellent all-round visibility are particularly welcome. “Our overall conclusion is that this class of machine certainly belongs in fire departments – for us, it’s a multi-tool for a wide range of applications and uses.”

“We are currently seeing increased demand for Case IH Farmlift models from fire departments and other rescue and disaster management organisations – and not just because of the standard red paintwork. Its compact design, multifunctional equipment and modular tools mean the Farmlift is ideal for clearing work after firefighting operations as well as for a wide variety of disaster management logistics tasks,” says Philipp Pamme, Product Manager for Telehandlers at Case IH.